Instagram Account Spoofing & how to fight it!
Instagram temporarily locked your account because it has triggered some red flags that caused Instagram to stop you dead in your tracks. But don’t worry: all is not lost.
Instagram actually has a process to unlock the account and get you back online. But first take a look at how you can prevent this spoofing issue to begin with! The main purpose of identity theft on Instagram is to scam the followers of the person whose identity the cyber criminal has stolen. This is why it’s so important to report these fake accounts, so that the platform can remove them quickly.
If you receive a private message from someone posing as a person or a brand, asking you to click on a link—whatever you do, don’t click. Instead, check the profile for any signs of a scam, and try contacting your friend, or the brand, by another means to make sure it’s really their account.
What Is Spoofing?
A spoofing attack is a type of behavior in which a cyber criminal masquerades as a trusted entity or device in order to gain access to your personal information and gain access to your computer. It is spoofing to disguise your identity as something else online.
Phishing V.S. Online Spoofing
Phishing does not involve the use of malicious software and is carried out using social engineering techniques. In spoofing, malicious software is installed on the target computer.
How do I avoid getting phished?
Look out for suspicious emails or messages
- Don’t trust messages demanding money, offering gifts or threatening to delete or ban your Instagram account.
- Emails from Instagram/Facebook about your account will only come from @mail.instagram.com or @facebookmail.com.
- Don’t click suspicious links
- If you get a suspicious email or message claiming to be from Instagram, don’t click any links or attachments.
- Don’t respond to these emails
- Don’t answer messages asking for your password, social security number, or credit card information.
- Get alerts
- Turn on two-factor authentication for additional account security.
Why Am I Being Asked To Upload An ID To Instagram
- There are several reasons you may be asked to send in a copy of your ID to Instagram:
- To confirm that the account you’re trying to access belongs to you.
- confirm or edit your age.
- To process payments.
Help prevent abuse such as scams or phishing
If you’re not sure what type of IDs Instagram can use to confirm your identity, please review our ID list. To upload your ID to Instagram, follow the on-screen instructions. In most cases, you’ll have at least two attempts to submit an ID.
During the review process you may temporarily lose access to your account. If you choose not to confirm your identity, your content may receive reduced distribution, or you may not be able to log back into your account. In some cases, if you do not pass our review, you’ll be notified in the Instagram app that we may disable your account and delete your account data.
Did You Know?
81% of account holders say they use Instagram to find new products and services. For cyber criminals, Instagram is simply another online space where they can propagate scams. The most common scams found on the platform tend to be Phishing.
How can you tell if an Instagram account is fake?
Are you having doubts as to whether that Instagram profile is real or not? Here are a few clues to help you recognize a fake Instagram account:
The account follows substantially more accounts than it has followers—or it has no followers and isn’t following anyone
- Their profile description seems too vague
- The account has no profile picture
- The account has only published a few posts, or none at all
- Posts are mainly about promotions or “competitions”
- The account claims to be a celebrity, but there’s no blue tick next to their profile
- The account name looks like other existing accounts, but a few characters or letters have been changed
- The account name seems odd
Many cyber criminals use fake Instagram account generators. As their goal is to create hundreds of accounts in a short amount of time, they don’t have time to fine tune or curate them. Given this, it’s usually easy to spot fake accounts if you look closely.
What can I do if someone is impersonating me on Instagram?
Only the person who’s being impersonated can file a report, but you can:
- Contact the person being impersonated by email or telephone to encourage them to report it to us.
- Direct message the person being impersonated to encourage them to report it to us.
If the impostor account is impersonating someone you’re authorized to represent (example: your child), you can report the account using this form. If someone is pretending to be you on Instagram, you can report the account with this form. Keep in mind that your report is anonymous, except if you’re reporting an intellectual property infringement. The account you reported won’t see who reported them.
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